Golding Clarifies Statement on Buggery

The Prime Minister Bruce Golding has sought to clarify a statement he made in Parliament yesterday about the punishment of homosexuals.

In debating the proposed changes to the Offences Against the Person Act, Mr Golding said the crime of buggery, like rape would take on a penalty of life imprisonment on conviction.

But in a release this morning the Office of the Prime Minister sought to explain the statement.

It claimed that what the Prime Minister said was that where buggery is carried out in circumstances similar to rape or grievous assault, it would attract the same penalty, which will be life imprisonment or a term not less than 15 years.

During his contribution in the House last month, South West St Ann MP, Ernest Smith, charged that the punishment for buggery, which is a maximum of seven years, was not stiff enough and that homosexuals were abusive and violent.

He later called for the director of public prosecutions to instruct the police to charge members of the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) with conspiracy to corrupt public morals.

However, Mr. Golding has distanced himself from Mr. Smith’s comments on homosexuality and the right of J-FLAG to exist.

The prime minister was himself criticised by gay-rights advocates following his statement during a BBC television interview in which he said gays would not be allowed in his cabinet.

Amdist the PM’s claims here is a letter to the Gleaner editor – Gay psychology and Jamaica’s homophobia

The Editor, Sir:
As a heterosexual (straight) man, I have always wondered why would another straight man hate a gay when our interests do not conflict. I have heard some psychologists attribute the basis of homosexuality to heredity and the environment. In other words, a person can be born gay or nurtured into a gay environment and both attributes must be present for a person to ‘become’ totally gay.

According to these psychologists, one attribute without the other, and a person could lead a quasi-normal life. Essentially, this means that a half-gay person can, and do get married and bear children. Under the mentioned circumstances, the misery of these individuals can never be discounted in the ways that they live their lives. Because: (1) they don’t make good fathers because, deep down, they never wanted children; (2) they make even worst husbands, as they tend to be physically and verbally abusive; (3) they are confused and hence run from women to women trying to find themselves; and (4) they just do not like women.

Self-hate

Here is where the rubber hits the road – homophobia is an expression of self-hate. Some Jamaicans harbour serious hate for gay men because they internalise homosexuality – they imagine themselves doing the acts to other men and vice versa. Hence, they tend to feel dirty and rotten by the thoughts thus, by beating and even killing overtly gay persons, they are killing that aspect (the other half) of themselves.

It’s rather interesting to hear the main reason given in Jamaica for homophobia, “the Bible says it’s wrong”. Yet, the very same people who quote the Bible will admit that they and those around them are not without sins – yet they are not as loathed and hated.

Trapped in straight cocoon

That should tell you, that not following all the precepts of the Bible is not the basis of the hate and homophobic behaviour that exist in Jamaica.

Put the pieces together, people. The only person who should hate a gay person is one to whom a gay person has done wrong, or one who does not want to imagine that deep down he is himself gay or not sure. In other words, he is a gay man trapped in straight cocoon, and wanting to get out.

Have you ever wondered why is it that whenever social stigma laxes, more gay people come out of the ‘closet’? It is because they have always been gay, and rearing to get out (no pun intended).

Jamaica, as a society, should let its homosexual citizens be free to exercise their liberties, or the repercussion could be far-reaching. What would you rather see gay people do, marry each other or marry our daughters? If they marry each other, that’s the end of the story. If they marry our daughters, they could invariably make a whole lot more little gay girls and little gay boys, walking around in straight cocoon, waiting for liberation.

As Jamaicans, let’s ask ourselves, which scenario do we like best?

I am, etc.,

Everton Eastwood

everton.eastwood@bge.com

Maryland, USA